The bill passed on a party-line vote, and Republican state senators cited alleged riots at anti-Trump demonstrations as impetus. However, the statute will also allow the state to crack down on other criminals whom the state has been happy to let get away with assembling people knowing a riot was likely to happen, such as:
- Arizona riot police, who last July organized an assembly of riot police that was very likely to become a riot–what with that being their name–and attacked anti-police brutality protesters with police brutality–including pepper spray and bean-bag bullets–and without any sense of irony;
- Concert promoters, who in 2015 organized an assembly of paying ticket-holders who were very likely to riot when R. Kelly didn’t show up as promised, although that seems like a good deal to us;
- For-profit prison operators, who in 2015 organized an assembly of known criminals who were very likely to riot if you treat them like criminals so you can make a profit;
- Colleges and athletic leagues, who in 2014 organized an assembly of booze- and testosterone-soaked man-children who were very likely to riot if their favorite team lost a game and made them sad.
Arizona officials responded to the wanton seat-leaving at the concert–by the classic-rock band The Doors–by banning all future performances by the classic-rock band The Doors. Morrison killed himself shortly thereafter, reportedly despondent that he would never perform in Arizona again.
However, it turns out that the 1968 incident–the only other time officials took action–also had a political component. The almost riot–known in layman’s terms as barely not a riot–occurred in November, just after the election of Pres. Nixon, prompting Morrison to tell the crowd, “Here we go again — four more years of mediocrity and horseshit!”
In fact, however, the horseshit lasted more than five years. Forty-nine and counting, depending on your tolerance for horseshit.